Alaska State Wildlife Troopers R/V Sentry goes through Alaska waters in this undated photo. (Alaska Wildlife Troopers | Courtesy Photo)

Alaska State Wildlife Troopers R/V Sentry goes through Alaska waters in this undated photo. (Alaska Wildlife Troopers | Courtesy Photo)

Body found in ocean near Glacier Bay

Juneau fisherman finds man in the Pacific; troopers still trying to identify him

The body of an older white man was found floating in the waters of the Pacific Ocean near Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

Juneau power troller Jake Carte told the Empire he made the discovery, about a nautical mile and a half off shore from Yakobi Island, which is about 80 miles west of Juneau and just off the northwest end of Chichagof Island. In a dispatch online, Troopers said they were unable to identify the body, and that the body was taken back to Juneau and then up to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage for an autopsy and identification.

Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters said the man had gray hair and was wearing a red shirt and brown corduroy pants.

The sea was calm as Carte drifted on his boat, the Sitkoh, on Saturday night, he recalled in an interview. A little after 7 p.m., he spotted something in the water. It looked a little like a mass of kelp, he said, but it didn’t look quite right.

As he got closer, he saw it was a man’s body, still wearing a maroon shirt and dark pants, Carte said. Carte quickly flipped his radio to channel 16 and called U.S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau, he said. The Coast Guard then contacted Troopers, according to the dispatch. Fortunately, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Juneau post, were on a routine fisheries patrol in the area aboard the P/V Sentry and were able to be on the scene quickly. Troopers then removed the body from the water with ropes, Peters said, and took the body back to Juneau.

Carte said he was grateful the Troopers were able to be there so quickly, and he hopes they can identify the body.

“I just hope finding the deceased brings closure to the deceased’s family members,” Carte said.

Troopers are still investigating the discovery, according to the dispatch, and if anyone has information about the possible identity of the man, they are asked to call Troopers at 465-4000.

On July 13, a 69-year-old man went overboard off the Holland America Westerdam in Glacier Bay, and search crews were unable to locate him. A Holland America statement at the time identified the man as a U.S. citizen, but did not mention his race. Peters didn’t comment on whether there was any evidence that suggested this was the same person, and only said the State Medical Examiner’s Office will do an autopsy will identify the man.

• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.

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